Mangroves for the Future (MFF) over the past few years has been supporting financially in building capacity of member organizations of the National Coordinating Bodies (NCBs) through several overseas training programmes. In 2012, MFF introduced in-country training based on the needs of respective NCB member organizations.
On the request of Sri Lanka Hoteliers’ Association, a NCB member, the first of the series; a workshop on Barrier-built Estuaries and Lagoons and Implications from Tourism Development in Sri Lanka was held on 20 April 2012 at the Gateway Hotel Airport Garden, Seeduwa. The Association invited their members; specifically the hotels located on the coastal areas of Sri Lanka to participate at this event.
The workshop which was conducted by an Integrated Coastal Management Specialist consisted of three sessions. The first session (technical) with the objective to familiarize with the physical, biological and socio economic significance of barrier-built estuaries and lagoons addressed topics such as bio-physical character of the ecosystems, cultural, socio-economic, socio-political and developmental significance and the way forward: transitioning from the clash of power to coexistence.
The session 2 was Field Investigations through perceptions surveys. The survey done by participants in four groups focused on the following themes: Perceptions of Gateway Hotel Airport Garden management/staff: tourism versus lagoon fishery, Perceptions of multi-day fishing boat owners/crew: marine fishery versus the lagoon fishery, Perceptions of residents of Siriwardena Place: housing versus lagoon fishery and the Perceptions of traditional fishers - stake-net fishery society: sharing a resource.
During the final session group findings were presented, analysed and discussed.
The participants commended this initiative, a rare opportunity for hotel sector staff members.